Those Who Save Us: A Novel

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Those Who Save Us: A Novel

by Jenna Blum

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | April 5, 2004 | Hardcover

Those Who Save Us: A Novel is rated 4.4444 out of 5 by 9.
For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy''s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother''s life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 in

Published: April 5, 2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151010196

ISBN - 13: 9780151010196

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard to put down! A very touching and thought provoking book that was hard to put down. Switching back and forth between WWII and "present day", it is a much less often discussed perspective on how the war impacted the every day German, and how those experiences ripple for decades to follow. An incredibly written book that will undoubtedly touch the heart of any reader, and force you to examine your thoughts on humanity, love, and the steps that you would take to protect those you love.
Date published: 2014-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Different WW2 Novel The book is well written and paced. What I loved the most was that it isnt the "usual" WW2 Holocaust novel. It looks at issues from a different perspective with compassion and honesty. Without glosing over or downplaying the trajedy, the novel explores the importance and emotional toll of remembering.
Date published: 2014-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED it and couldn't put it down. Being raised Polish, I never really got to know the human side of Germans during WWII. And thus I never really opened myself to the idea that perhaps regular civilians under Nazi rule were suffering just as much as those whom Hitler invaded. This is one of those books that changed that. The book is inspiring and sickening at the same time. There is an element of suspense and mystery as the story unfolds. It was one my book club choices that resulted in a moving discussion about human suffering and determination. Just like "the Book Thief", it's a story of survival illustrating that in a wartime, everybody is a victim and sometimes, the reality is not what it seems.
Date published: 2013-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Really An Interesting Read! This book definutely touched something in me. Jenna Blum's handle on the mother-daughter relationhip and the past vs. present themes really came to life. All in all a great read for anyone looking for something a little different.
Date published: 2009-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A superb novel Those Who Save Us is a superbly crafted story, intriguing as a story and magnificently written. I was drawn in by the beautifully designed cover and was engrossed in every word. Those who appreciate good novels will enjoy Ms. Blum's talent and hope that she will produce more works such as these. Charles Gordon
Date published: 2009-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read! I thought this is one of the best books I've ever read! I couldn't put it down & was sad to see it end.
Date published: 2006-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best Books I've Ever Read I am an avid reader and would say this is one of the best books I've ever read. The book is about a women named Trudy who is trying to get answers about her mother's life and who her father was. Trudy's mother was a German woman who lived through WWII and married a US military man at the end of the war. They then moved to Minnesota. Both Trudy's mother and father refuse to speak to Trudy about the war and her real father. This books is about Trudy's quest for the truth, the impact this has had on her past life and the impact it will have on the future. During the book, Trudy is conducting a research project which consists of interviewing Germans who lived thorugh the war so you get to hear a number of mini-stories within the book. This is an incredibly touching story about what those who love us will do to protect and keep us safe and the impact these decisions have on their own lives and those around them. An absolute must read!!!
Date published: 2006-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best Books I've Ever Read I am an avid reader and would say this is one of the best books I've ever read. The book is about a women named Trudy who is trying to get answers about her mother's life and who her father was. Trudy's mother was a German woman who lived through WWII and married a US military man at the end of the war. They then moved to Minnesota. Both Trudy's mother and father refuse to speak to Trudy about the war and her real father. This books is about Trudy's quest for the truth, the impact this has had on her past life and the impact it will have on the future. During the book, Trudy is conducting a research project which consists of interviewing Germans who lived thorugh the war so you get to hear a number of mini-stories within the book. This is an incredibly touching story about what those who love us will do to protect and keep us safe and the impact these decisions have on their own lives and those around them. An absolute must read!!!
Date published: 2006-09-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Those Who Save Us I tought that this book was extremely boring and it was the worst book ever!!
Date published: 2005-05-14

– More About This Product –

Those Who Save Us: A Novel

by Jenna Blum

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 in

Published: April 5, 2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151010196

ISBN - 13: 9780151010196

Read from the Book

1 THE EVENING IS TYPICAL ENOUGH UNTIL THE DOG BEGINS to choke. And even then, at first, Anna doesn''t bother to turn from the Rouladen she is stuffing for the dinner that she and her father, Gerhard, will share, for the dachshund''s energetic gagging doesn''t strike her as anything unusual. The dog, Spaetzle, is forever eating something he shouldn''t, savaging chicken carcasses and consuming heels of bread without chewing, and such greed is inevitably followed by retching. Privately, Anna thinks him a horrid little creature and has ever since he was first presented to her five years ago on her fourteenth birthday, a gift from her father just after her mother''s death, as if in compensation. It is perhaps unfair to resent Spaetzle for this, but he is also chronically ill-tempered, snapping with his yellowed fangs at everyone except Gerhard; he is really her father''s pet. And grossly fat, as Gerhard is always slipping him tidbits, despite his bellowed admonitions to Anna of Do not! Feed! The dog! From! The table! Now Anna ignores Spaetzle, wishing her hands were not otherwise engaged in the mixing bowl so she could bring them to her ears, but when the choking continues she looks at him with some alarm. He is gasping for breath between rounds of rmmmp rmmmp rmmmp noises, foam flecking his long muzzle. Anna abandons the Rouladen and bends over him, forcing his jaws open to get at whatever is blocking his windpipe, but her fingers, already meat-slick, find no purchase in the dog'
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From the Publisher

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy''s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother''s life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

About the Author

JENNA BLUM is the New York Times bestselling author of The Stormchasers. Jenna is of German and Jewish descent and spent four years working for Steven Spielberg''s Shoah Foundation, interviewing Holocaust survivors. She teaches fiction for Grub Street Writers. Please visit Jenna at www.jennablum.com, on Facebook and on Twitter: @jenna_blum.

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR THOSE WHO SAVE US

"Jenna Blum''s accomplished first novel, Those Who Save Us, is both vast and intimate in its reach . . . Utterly believable . . .An absorbing tale of two women''s struggles with the burdens and responsibilities of remembrance."-THE BOSTON GLOBE

"The book''s power . . . [lies] in examining the emotional and moral gray area between heroism and collaboration . . .Those Who Save Us bursts with provocative questions about the ambiguous possibilities of culpability."-SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
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